Recovering From The Long Weekend and ACC-Big Ten Challenge Prediction #1
As usual, Thanksgiving weekend delivered tons of good basketball. UWM gave Marquette all it could handle on Saturday night, Wisconsin played three games and lost in the finals of the Old Spice Classic, and the high school season kicked off with some big all-day basketball events. Unfortunately, I had other commitments this weekend and missed most of the hoops excitement (on the plus side, Wisconsin's football team was fun to watch). So I have no comprehensive update today for two reasons. One, I simply ran out of time this weekend to write about anything. Two, I question the validity of me writing about a bunch of games for which the only details I have come from a slew of text messages from friends giving me updates throughout the weekend.
I'll perhaps crank out a few thoughts from the weekend for tomorrow. In the meantime, I always like to predict the outcomes of the games in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and I tend to always miss the Monday game. But not this year. Full predictions will be out tomorrow, but here's my prediction for tonight's game:
Minnesota over Virginia: I actually want to pick Virginia here. I love head coach and former UW-Green Bay hero Tony Bennett. And I'm a big fan of the staff that he's assembled at Virginia. But if you've seen how awesome Minnesota has looked early on (and in limited amounts, I have), it's pretty much impossible to pick against them in this one. I'd put the frontcourt of Trevor Mbakwe, Ralph Sampson III, Rodney Williams and Colton Iverson up against just about anyone with the way that they've been playing of late. I'll discount the Gophers' win against North Carolina, as the Tarheels seem to be stuck in the same funk as last year, but it cannot be denied that Tubby Smith has his team playing shockingly well to start the season. It remains to be seen if this will be sustained over the course of the year, or how long Trevor Mbakwe will go before he mentally implodes and leaves the team, but for now, you'd have to give the Gophers a shot against any team in the country. And while Virginia and its roster of seven freshmen will likely be very good in a few years, it's not the Cavs' time yet.
Back tomorrow with more predictions, and a few random tidbits from my weekend exodus.